UofMixtape: Noise

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 3:40pm

I was 13 when I first heard noise. That isn’t to say that I got a cochlear implant or anything — I mean the first time that I heard noise in music. Noise is a finicky phenomenon, taking immutable shape in unwanted ways. Everyone knows what microphone feedback sounds like (and could probably do a shoddy imitation), but it’s nearly impossible to replicate the same sequence of feedback more than once. That’s noise. 

Pop music shies away from noise, constantly attempting to smooth out its wrinkles to create something sterile. There’s nothing wrong with that — there’s something to be said about technological progress that can create a perfect recording of a performance. Some artists and listeners, however, enjoy that occasional rubbing of a mic, the blare of a guitar or the too-sharp hiss of a snare. A rich aesthetic subgenre exists for this, lo-fi, which embraces the imperfections of old recording technology. Some artists approach the issue a differently. 

This playlist takes you down a road of artists that use noise for artistic ends. Poppier and more traditional compositions that spare extensive experimental use open the act, but by the time you’re halfway through, high-energy fuzz will be coming at you, full force. Lose yourself in noise, a place where no words or intention exist.